Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lower Cross Syndrome and its Relation to Baseball Pitchers
In the ordinary person who works a desk job and athletes alike, you see several discrepancies from regular posture, in which the human body is affected. The most common, rounded shoulders and forward perched neck, is known as upper cross syndrome, a topic that was discussed previously. However, muscle imbalance does not stop at just the upper body. Muscle balance occurs in the lower half of the body as well, and is just as much of a risk for injury as upper cross syndrome. Like UCS, lower crossed syndrome (LCS) involves over-active and tight muscles paired with antagonist under-active, weak, and stretched out muscles. Generally, people with lower cross syndrome display excessive lordosis due to over-active hip flexors. These overactive hip-flexors result in weak and stretched out glutes and hamstrings, followed by over-active lumbar extensors and inhibited core muscles. As you could imagine, this leads to many different injuries that an athlete may suffer.
For starters, looking at the most immediate issues, athletes with LCS are at risk of suffering strained hamstrings, due to their weak and stretched out state. Low back pain is also a common injury sustained in athletes with LCS, due to the thoracolumbar extensors over-active role in hip extension. Joint dysfunction also starts to occur at L4-L5, S1, the sacro-iliac joint, and both hip joints when LCS is left uncorrected.2 Since this can happen to any athlete who displays LCS, how in turn does it effect a baseball pitcher from being fully effective?
There are a number of issues that may be identified in pitchers displaying LCS. Overall, hip mobility will be poor and the ability to generate power from the important posterior chain muscles (hamstrings and glutes) will be diminished. Secondly, due to the overactive thoracolumbar extensors, core strength will be diminished. The core, which as previously discussed, is crucial in transferring energy from the lower to the upper body, then becomes inefficient at doing so. This deficiency leads to compensation up or down the kinetic chain, inefficient movement, and potential injury.1
In correcting LCS, it is important that you make a goal to stretch the overactive muscles, and strengthen the previously inhibited ones. I have found the most success with starting by stretching the hip flexors, followed by extensive strengthening of the core and glutes. It is important however to remember that there are only patients and not protocols, and each athlete is different.

1Cressey, E. (2008, January 31). Fixing the Flaws: A Look at the Ten Most Common Biomechanical Weak Links in Athletes. Retrieved November 03, 2016, from

2Lower Crossed Syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved November 03, 2016, from

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this blog. I liked how you discussed the fact poor hip mobility can effect a baseball pitcher's throwing ability and how it is all connected (between lower and upper extremity). I have been taught that there is always a cause behind the cause and I think this blog does a good job of describing exactly what people mean by that.